Author Archives: Barry Fleming

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July Focus – On track for maximum state pension?

As part of your overall financial planning, one item that is worth considering is your state pension and whether you are on track to get the full amount. If not, it is possible to buy top-ups, which could boost your payout by £244 a year for life. The top-up scheme can be particularly relevant for…
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June Focus – Plan ahead ! … Noah did !

One definition of Planning is ‘The process of deciding in detail how to do something before you actually start doing it!’ Not just a very sensible idea, but also an essential element within all Financial Planning. Successful planning should be structured and must incorporate periodic reviews of your plans – it is essentially a cyclical…
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May Focus – Financial Advantages of Marriages and Civil Partnerships

With the Royal Wedding only a few days away, we want to enter into the spirit of this wonderful event and, in doing so, are prompted to reflect on the financial advantages (well, we would wouldn’t we!) of saying ‘I do’ … A marriage or civil partnership can be a beautiful union of minds and…
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April Focus – Taxation Rules on Pension Schemes

This Focus is necessarily somewhat longer than usual. It holds a very important message for anyone who is a member of a pension scheme. It is based on our understanding of taxation matters that involve quite complex rules. Money Purchase Pension Schemes – Death Benefits As discussed in our October 2017 Focus (recent Focuses can…
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March Focus – Your cash reserves

Following the financial crisis of 2008 when a number of big British banks came close to collapsing, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was strengthened by the government to the extent that the FSCS currently guarantees the first £85,000 of a person’s cash savings per banking licence in total, and including interest. But what does…
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February Focus – Lifetime Financial Planning

You and I know that life is not all plain sailing. But, as far as our financial planning is concerned, if you plan ahead you can maximise your resources for your families and yourselves. We call it Lifetime Financial Planning – and we make the provision of that service available to all our clients. For…
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January Focus – Income Tax, Pensions, Capital Gains, ISAs and Inheritance Tax

January is the month named for Janus, the Roman god who was depicted with two faces – one looking back and one looking to the future. And that is precisely what we should be doing now in respect of our financial planning. Successful financial planning is a cyclical activity. It is important to review your…
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December Focus – Help to Buy ISA

If you or a member of your family is saving for a home through a Help To Buy ISA or know someone who is, it’s worth being aware of a planning opportunity that could boost your savings by an additional £1,100. But anyone hoping to take advantage of this opportunity needs to be quick, as…
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November Focus – IHT: The (Residence) Nil Rate Bands … Can you spot the difference

Changes to inheritance tax (IHT) came in earlier this year, affecting the allowance for those wanting to pass on their home to members of the family. But as the changes are being rolled out over the next few years up to the 2020/21 financial year, it can be hard to know if and how the…
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October Focus – Personal Pension Plan Death Benefits … Benefits whom, do I hear?

In 2015, under the Government’s Freedom and Choice pensions reform initiative, things changed radically for members of personal pensions plans. In this Focus we highlight Personal Pension Plan Death Benefits (i.e. not Occupational Pension Schemes) and point to just a few of the key issues that arise from those changes. Much depends on the age…
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